How do you perceive the future?
Do you see your future self as separate from your present self? Or do you see your future self simply as the continuation of your present self?
A lot of the time I see the future as The Future. Capital “T,” capital “F”. A gleaming abstract concept that holds infinite possibilities and infinite hope. “Anything can happen in the future,” I think, “I will write a book. I will be able to play the guitar well. I will do this task and I will do that task. I will get round to doing it.”
That thinking is wrong. It is wrong because I am putting the future on a pedestal, and seeing it as a time that is completely separate from the present, while lumping my responsibilities into it.
In reality, the future is just a version of the present that has not already happened yet. By the time it comes round, it will be the present.
You cannot leave things up to your future self to complete, because by the time the future comes round, you will be your future self.
You can only control what is happening now. Everything that you wanted to do in the past is up to you now.
“Now,” is a funny thing. I once read a book that observed how you can continue breaking “now” down into smaller and smaller pieces. I think it was quite a popular book but I can’t remember the name of it. One of the characters described how you only exist in the present, but how you can see the present in different ways. You can see it as the current hour, the current minute, the current second or the current millisecond. You can keep breaking it down into infinitesimally small fractions. One second has its own past, present and future within it, as do all other measurements of time. In the end, you are only existing in the tiniest portion of time. Yet you are moving through time constantly. I found that fascinating. Make the most of these milliseconds.
Happy Winter Solstice.